I am 36 today! I feel like I should be coming to grips with the whole nearing 40 thing, but when it comes to my age, I feel like I am viewing it from a bemused distance. Like it’s happening to someone else.

Please pause for a moment to admire my new birthday socks.

Things Adults Do.

It’s like I’m not really 36, actually. That is an age that belongs to GROWN UPS. And I am still waiting to be a grown up. Which makes me wonder what I am expecting to happen. Grown ups do many of the things that I actually do, such as:

  • Going to work
  • Doing tax returns
  • Paying bills
  • Having opinions about political matters
  • Being amazed at how much easier (in some respects) it is for young people these days
  • Saying “When I was your age…” to young people

Because I, too, do those things, I should probably feel quite grown up. Even sitting in the accountant’s office recently, I felt like a bit of an impostor. As if I shouldn’t have been there and any minute, the accountant guy would call me on it. While he was fixing our tax things, I even had to take a work-related call. SO ADULTY. But, no, still didn’t feel like a card-carrying, board certified grown up.


What age does this feeling kick in?

What 36 Looks Like.

I am a married person with children who lives in a house, drives a car, gets paid money for work and not a cent for doing household chores. And yet, I feel like I am about 16. This feeling is not helped by what I see in the mirror. Now, don’t think I’m being all full of myself; I have lines and stretch marks and other signs of adult wear and tear, like other 36 year olds that aren’t celebrities full of botox and followed around by personal trainers.

However, this 36 year old still looks in the mirror and sees zits.


It’s a cruel fact of life.

I had a facial the other day (I try to fit one in every year or two if I see a good deal on Groupon) and moaned to the beauty therapist that I had the skin of a teenager with all my hormone-related breakouts. She was quick to reassure me that I also had dry patches consistent with being two decades beyond peak-teen but agreed that its was very frustrating to be oldish and still spotty.

What 36 Feels Like.

If you’d asked me 20 years ago where I’d be at 36, I suspect it wouldn’t be in a rented house in the ‘burbs. It wouldn’t have been working crazy hours in the public service. I think I envisioned a life with more travel (and I still do, but not quite yet) and definitely more cats. But the nice thing about this age is that you aren’t struggling under the weight of other people’s expectations. I don’t just mean the fact that you don’t have to clean your room when your parents say so, either.

I’d have paid good money for this as a teenager.

I mean that you like what you like without caring about the cool factor. If you want to watch godawful television or listen to Justin Beiber, you do it without apology. You wear what fits and feels fabulous without worrying about the trends. You make decisions based on what you want and need rather than worrying about what people in magazines are doing. By this age, you have also hopefully surrounded yourself with amazing friends who also give zero fucks about the trivial stuff. I know that I have done those last few things, for sure.

So, while I might often be looking around for an adultier adult in certain situations, I have actually got some important aspects of being a grown up covered, after all. I literally just realised that as I wrote it. Must be a 36 year old thing!

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  • Happy Birthday lovely. I don’t feel my age either. I hope you have had a lovely day. xx

  • 36 and doing just fine. Happy birthday. x

  • “She was quick to reassure me that I also had dry patches consistent with being two decades beyond peak-teen” LOL. Did that make you feel better? You are very adulty to me Amy. I’m also very adulty. Hang on, make that VERY VERY adulty. Happy birthday week. Make it a festival!

  • LydiaCLee

    Happy birthday to you. From my 107 years, 36 is still a baby!! Enjoy – you only get older (and you’re body likes to remind you of that)

  • Happy birthday. I am 45 and quite often still don’t feel adulty… Agree with your last paragraph about doing what we like without considering trends or what others choose!

  • Happy birthday!! I love my mid to late thirties, though now at 41 I don’t mind that either. I do struggle with the adulty things though and often still feel overwhelmed by having to be the adult in the family. The positives sure outweigh the negatives though. Your beauty therapist needs a lesson in diplomacy!!

  • I’m quite a few years older than you and I still don’t feel like a fully fledged adult – lol!

    Happy birthday!


  • I rarely make cakes but I really wanted one recently so I (packet mix) baked. But we also don’t eat that kind of food much, so it started going stale. So I decided to eat just the cm or two around the icing and throw the rest of the cake in the bin. Because adult, I can eat the damn icing part only if I want to!

  • Happy Birthday! Despite being 46 on the outside, I still think I’m 6 and a half on the inside, but it’s weird isn’t it that when you think about it, it’s amazing how much we “adult” without even realising it! I’m very guilty of saying “in my day…” or “when we were kids…” which I think is definitely ageing me prematurely! I have to say, I haven’t enjoyed a decade as much I’ve enjoyed my forties, even though it’s been the most challenging in most ways, it’s definitely been the most enjoyable, and I think as you say that’s because the older we get, the more we can choose life and the way we want to live it. Plus we can make our cakes and eat them too 🙂

  • Happy birthday! Oh to be 36 again!!! Actually not really, pretty happy with the big 50 and THE FACT WE SURVIVED THE TEEN YEARS of our kids … no mean feat I assure you!

  • Tracy

    Happy Birthday! I’m a whole decade ahead of you and I still feel like I’m a kid pretending to be a grown up. I don’t really have a problem being a grown up…after all, I now have adult kids, so clearly I’m fairly old. But I don’t feel like it. My Mum says she feels young and then gets a surprise every time she looks in the mirror and sees and old woman’s face. I think it’s normal to not feel as old as you are.

    • It’s like age-related impostor syndrome! 😀

  • Happy birthday beautiful. Gosh I wish I was turning 36 next month and not 43. But you know what, I to still feel like a younger version of me. I also see bloody spots when I look in the mirror to. ( darn hormones ) hope you had a fabulous day xx

  • Hello, I reckon we don’t really change at all on the inside, it’s just the outside stuff… actually not true as we seem to all get more confident as we get older… and the 50s are the best for that for me… so far! Happy 36th and here’s to the next 36.

  • Paula

    First, happy birthday Amy. I know I’m late, but I also know it’s still Tuesday in Vancouver.
    I am 10 years older than you, I still don’t always feel like an adult,
    helped by our lack of kids, I’m sure. And the friends we’ve made since
    moving here are from 28 to 57, all of which feels normal.

    • Thank you Paula! I love having a variety in my friend groups so much varied experience, wisdom and perspective.

  • Hope you had a great birthday love! You’re so young!! 36 I just had my 2nd baby, lost a shit load of weight and totally ROCKED my 20 year High School Reunion!! You beauty!! You’ll love reaching those scary 40s Amy. You give even less fucks, love your family and friends even harder, your kids and husband even more so and all going well land in a job that couldn’t be more you if you tried! Just those damn greys and middle age spread that gate crashes lol! xx

  • Happy birthday to you! I certainly agree that the best thing about growing older is learning to care a little less about what other people think. I’m coming to terms with turning 40 later this year .. I hear 90s music and it feels like it was only yesterday, not more than 20 years ago! #teamIBOT

    • Thanks Erika- I still think the 90’s was 5 mins ago hahaha!